Exercise Information Tidbits

Active Recovery

Following intense exercise, lactic acid removal from the blood is attenuated with an active recovery as compared to a resting recovery. The optimal intensity of recovery exercise to promote blood lactic acid removal is approximately 30-40% of VO2 max (Dodd S, et al. 1984). Higher intense exercise would likely increase blood lactic acid levels and therefore hinder removal. Also see Corder (1998, 2000).

Standing versus Lying Hamstring Stretch


With proper instruction, both the standing hamstring stretch and the lying single leg hamstring stretch are equally effective improve knee extension (when hip was bent at 90 degrees) by 9.4 degrees and 8.1 degrees respectively.

Decoster LC, et. al. (2004) Standing and supine hamstring stretches are comparably effective. Journal of Athletic Training. Supplement 39(2), 97.

Exercise Modifications in a Group Exercise Setting

Suggest one or two ways in which your class participates can make the exercise easier or modify the movement to accommodate their abilities.

Stability Ball Sizes

Body Height Ball Size
Up to 58" (147 cm) Small: 18" (45 cm)
58" (147 cm) to 65" (165 cm) Medium: 22" (55 cm)
65" (165 cm) to 72" (183 cm) Large: 26" (65 cm)
72" (183 cm) to 77" (196 cm) X Large 30" (75 cm)
Over 77" (196 cm) XX Large 33" (85 cm)

Choose a ball that allows participant to sit with knees and hips bent about 90 degrees, or thighs parallel to floor. Recommended ball sizes will vary to accommodate specific exercises, individual needs, and sometimes the difficulty of the exercise. Keep ball inflated to 90% of its maximum diameter (65 cm ball inflates to 58 cm).

Work-site Fitness Programs

Corperate Wellness Programs

Corporate fitness center benefits:

  • Decrease absenteeism
  • Decrease health care costs
  • Employee recruitment and retention
  • Employee moral improvement

A comprehensive review of the literature demonstrated work-site fitness programs were cost-effective and cost-beneficial with an estimated $2 to $5 return for every $1 invested.

Baun, W.B., Bernacki, E.J., and Tsai, S.P. (1986) A preliminary investigation: Effect of a corporate fitness program on absenteeism and health care cost. Journal of Occupational Medicine, 28 (1), 18-22.

Lynch, W.D., Golaszewski, T.J., Clearie, A.F., Snow, D., Vickery, D.M. (1990) Impact of a facility-based corporate fitness program on the number of absences from work due to illness. Journal of Occupational Medicine, 32 (1), 9-12.

Shephard, R.J. (1992) A critical analysis of work-site fitness programs and their postulated economic benefits. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 24 (3), 354-70.

Why People Exercise

  • Performance
    • daily living, job, sports
  • Psychological benefits
    • mental health, feel better, mental clarity, decreases anxiety and depression
  • Look better
    • fat loss, muscle gain, posture
  • Health
    • Disease prevention
    • Injury prevention (Prehab)
    • Rehabilitation
      • Orthopedic, cardiac or orthopedic rehabilitation
  • Recreation
    • fun, social, pass time
  • Utilitarian
    • Transportation, work

Income and Education Level and Physical Activity Participation

In 2006, approximately one-third of adults 18 years of age and over engaged in regular leisure-time physical activity. Adults in families with income above twice the poverty level were more likely to engage in regular leisure-time physical activity (34.8%) than adults in lower income families (20.6%). Those more likely to engage in regular leisure-time physical activity where those with some or more college (37.6% participation) as compared to those with a high school diploma (23.5% participant) or those with no high school diploma (16.5% participation).

U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, Health, United States, 2007.


Tapering Training

A reduced training load of 3 to 21 days has been successfully used in both endurance and strength sports. Runners and swimmers can reduce training load by 60% for up to 21 days without reduction of performance.

Costill D, et al (1985) Effects of reduced training on muscular power in swimmers. Physician and Sports Medicine, 13:94-101.

Gibala M, et al (1994) The effects of tapering on strength performance in trained athletes. International Journal of Sports Medicine 15:492-97.

Houmard J (1990). Reduced training maintains performance in distance runners. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 11:46-51.


Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) originates from microscopic injury to muscle fibers or their surrounding connective tissue (especially Z line). This results in a slow cascade of biochemical events leading to inflammation and edema within the injured muscle. The resulting pain develops after 24 to 48 hours after exercise.

Proposed DOMS model:

  • Strenuous exercise
  • Structural damage to muscle cells
  • Calcium leaks out of sarcoplasmic reticulum
  • Strenuous Exercise Protease activation: results in breakdown of cellular proteins
  • Inflammatory response
  • Edema and pain

Some chemicals that may directly affect nerve endings during DOMS are Hydroxyproline, CPK, LDH, and myoglobin which are found in the blood after intense exercise leading to DOMS. Myoglobin can also be found in the urine.

Human Machine

The human body is about as efficient as most machines. Only 25% of the substrates in the body are used as kinetic energy. 75% of the this fuel is dissipated as heat.

Genetics in Sports

No one has ever climbed a 8000 meter peak without oxygen that does not have the ACE Gene.

Every male Olympic power athlete tested carries at least one copy of at least one variant of the 577R genotype.

Enriquez J (April 2012). Will our kids be a different species? TedxSummit. 7:00-7:26 min.

Exercise & Cancer

“Three types of cancer - colon, breast and prostate - seem clearly to be influenced by physical activity levels,”

Dr. Ritva Butrum, Senior Science Advisor to the American Institute for Cancer Research.

“Several studies have shown that people with higher levels of insulin and IGF-1 have a higher risk of colon cancer,” “Chronically high levels of insulin and IGF-1 seem to stimulate cells to divide. When more cells are dividing, there is a greater chance of a cancer-causing genetic mutation.”

Dr. Edward Giovannucci, Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

“Women who are physically active during adolescence and young adulthood are exposed to lower levels of hormones,” “We think this explains why exercise reduces breast cancer risk in younger women. There is still a lot we need to learn about how exercise reduces risk in older women.”

Dr. Leslie Bernstein, Professor of Preventive Medicine at the University of Southern California.

American Institute for Cancer Research Newsletter, Fall 2004

70 Year Old Man

*Compared to a 30 year old man at 100% capacity.
Percent capacity*
Body weight 88
Brain weight 56
Blood supply to brain 80
Cardiac output (at rest) 70
Kidney's blood filtering rate 69
Number of taste buds 36
Lung capacity 56
Strength of handgrip 55
VO2 max 40
Nerve impulse velocity 90

Arvarez, M (2007). The Check List. HarperCollins Publishers, New York, NY, 262.

Also see Mental and Physical Well-being: The Grant and Glueck Longitudinal Studies.

Comparison of the Benefits of Aerobic and Resistive Exercise

Key: + more, - less, = no change Exercise
Aerobic Resistive
Bone Mineral Density ++ ++
Body Fat - - -
Lean Body Mass = ++
Strength = +++
Insulin response to glucose - - - -
Basal insulin levels - -
Insulin sensitivity ++ ++
HDL ++ +=
LDL - - - =
Resting Heart Rate - - =
Stroke Volume ++ =
Resting Systolic BP - - =
Resting Diastolic BP - - - =
VO2 max +++ +
Endurance Time +++ ++
Physical Function ++ +++
Basal Metabolism + ++

The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports Research Digest.

Medications and Narcotics that Can Cause Muscle Weakness

  • Amiodarone (Cordarone)
  • Antithyroid agents: methimazole (Tapazole); propylthiouracil
  • Antiretroviral medications: zidovudine (Retrovir); lamivudine (Epivir)
  • Chemotherapeutic agents
  • Cimetidine (Tagamet)
  • Cocaine
  • Corticosteroids
  • Fibric acid derivatives: gemfibrozil (Lopid)
  • Interferon
  • Leuprolide acetate (Lupron)
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Penicillin
  • Sulfonamides
  • Statins

Bannwarth B (2002). Drug-induced myopathies. Expert Opin Drug Saf. 1:65–70.

Ferri FF (2000). Ferri’s Clinical advisor: instant diagnosis and treatment. Mosby.

First Exercise Recommendations for Physical Disorders

The first exercise recommendations to treat physical disorders appear in the Huang Ti Nei ching (The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine), a Chinese treatise dating from 2700 BC. The book advises exercises of hands and feet, breathing exercises, and massage of skin and flesh to alleviate paralysis, chills, and fever.

Anzovin S & Podell J (2000). Famous First Facts, International Edition, HW Wilson Company, pg 260.

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